Solvang Savory: Mac and Cheese Festival

The Danish burg fetes the creamiest of comfort foods.

THE BEST FEST EVER? When we heard that Solvang would serve as the sweet setting for a full day devoted to s'mores -- S'moresFest! was the name, you may recall, and, yes, it boasted an exclamation point, and, yes, it was part of the larger JuleFest -- we thought that was it. There couldn't possibly be a better single-food festival on the single-food festival calendar. Shut off the lights and call it a day and thank you and goodnight. But apparently we spoke too quickly, because it turns out there is a particular food worthy of its own daylong party, it is happening in Solvang, it is a full-on, several cities-type tour, and, nope, it doesn't compete with s'mores on the sugary side of things. It's macaroni and cheese, that royal among royals in the comfort food category, and it is headed for the windmill-laden wine country burg on Saturday, May 17.

LOTS AND LOTS OF IT: The 2014 Macaroni & Cheese Festival lands at Mission Santa Ines for a Saturday full of stringy cheesy gooey goodness, and some beer, wine, and spirits tastings, too. The mac and cheese samplings are "unlimited" (they're an ounce each, which is a pretty hefty taste) and the tunes and general festival vibe? Worthy of a sunny May Saturday. (Fingers crossed for sunshine, though eating macaroni and cheese on a rainy day is kind of ideal, too.) The Children's Miracle Network Hospitals are the day's beneficiaries. And if you should miss it? It'll swing through San Luis Obispo on Aug. 23. Yep, Solvang, your s'mores-sweet celebrating and macaroni and cheese-ing has us truly believing you're locked into the foods that deserve their own full-on festival starring role.

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